Former New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler, who has agreed to a deal with the Tennessee Titans, is speaking out about his Super Bowl LII benching against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Butler told the Boston Herald he never got an explanation as to why he was benched during the game and hasn't spoken to Patriots coach Bill Belichick since leaving Minnesota.
"I never got a reason," Butler told the Herald. "I feel like this was the reason: I got kind of sick. I went to the hospital. They probably thought I was kind of late on the game plan; I wasn’t as locked in as I should be and could have been a matchup deal. It could have been anything."
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Butler added that Belichick had been benching players "for a very long time."
"He took a veteran out of Super Bowl XLIX (against the Seahawks) and put in a first-year rookie, and that turned out right, so you could never question his decision," Butler explained to the Herald.
Butler's agent, Derek Simpson, told The Associated Press on Tuesday the 28-year-old and the Titans agreed to a five-year deal worth more than $60 million.
Simpson said Butler would sign the deal, which includes more than $30 million guaranteed, once free agency begins. The Titans have declined to comment.
Butler is a Vicksburg, Mississippi, native who went undrafted out of West Alabama but spent the past four seasons with the Patriots. He started 48 of his 59 games and has eight career interceptions. He was the hero of New England's Super Bowl win after the 2014 season, intercepting a pass to seal the 28-24 victory over Seattle.